In my ongoing saga to provide the best solution for SharePoint Foundation on SBS 2008 I have been alerted to the fact that SQL Server Express 2008 R2 has had its maximum database size limit increased from 4GB to 10GB by Andy Parkes (thanks Andy). The actual SQL Server Express 2008 blog (yes there is a blog) mentions it here:
Why is that important for SharePoint Foundation 2010 on SBS 2008 you may ask? Well to install SharePoint anywhere you need a version of SQL Server installed first. Generally, if you don’t already have a version SharePoint will install a free version automatically for you. With WSS v3 this version was SQL Server Embedded Edition 2005 (#SSEE) which has no limit on the size of databases (although it has other restrictions). SharePoint Foundation 2010 in contrast installs SQL Express 2008 which has a database limit of 4GB. So if you did really want to install SharePoint Foundation 2010 on SBS 2008, and migrate your existing WSS v3 site across without having to pay for a version of SQL Server and your SharePoint content database was > 4GB then you were out of luck.
So, if you have SharePoint content databases > 4GB and you don’t want to pay for a full blown version of SQL Server you can now use SQL Server Express 2008 R2. Only problem is that you have to install this version first before installing SharePoint Foundation 2010 AND you also have to do an advanced SharePoint install, which means you have to setup and configure SharePoint manually on the server. This is not a simple process for someone not familiar with SharePoint so I would not recommend it.
I think this is where SharePoint sometimes gets a bum wrap. Out of the box there are some limitations, however they can be overcome, problem is that information isn’t always readily available. That is exactly why I document all of this in my Windows SharePoint Operations Guide that I make available for people. If you are going to be working with SharePoint my Guide is going to save you hours and hours of mucking around looking for the answers. Come July 1 I’ll also be announcing another improvement to the Guide so stay tuned.